if you have spent most of your life in an urban community, then visiting Villa Escudero, approximately 2 hours from Manila (if the traffic jam gods are not against you. hehe. . :)), is a must. Showing off how rural lifestyle is what Villa Escudero all about.
A vast of coconut plantation fronting the privately owned hacienda is the introduction on this provincial life.
You can check the admission fees and overnight stay rates on their website. the hacienda is not difficult to find as it is located on the main road from Laguna going to Quezon Province.
Villa Escudero has a museum housing some old cool stuff from old Philippine money and coin collections, old maria clara attires and some national costumes from neighboring countries, antiquated altars (the big ones), some spanish inspired antique furnitures, paintings, handwritten letters from Philippines’ national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, etc etc etc. . there’s a lot to name but basically the things are old, the ambiance is more like you are in an old house during the Spanish regime in the Philippines.
And oh, btw, strictly no picture taking inside the museum. . 🙂
aside from the museum, the hacienda has this particular spot where some replica of various war stuff stand like canons, tanks, etc.
the whole hacienda has some statues demonstrating some Filipino traits like a gentleman courting a lady, feeding the pigs, cock fightings, and many more. thank God there is a tram to tour us around pulled by a carabao if you really are not into lengthy walking. . 🙂
the main attraction of the hacienda, for me, is the savoury buffet lunch by the man-made waterfalls whereas your feet are submerged into the cold spring water.
they serve here all Filipino dishes from mangoes+tomatoes+shrimp paste (alamang) tandem, grilled tilapia (fish), pickled papaya, grilled pork liempo and a lot more for the main course. they also have banana cue (fried banana dipped in brown sugar), sweetened sago, nata de coco, halo halo for desert. you can also order fresh coconut juice. . yum yum. .
Villa Escudero has a man-made lagoon where you can rent a bambo raft and try rowing. . haha, im just too scared to try. the lake is like 30-feet deep. no crocodiles, no worries. . haha. .
to end our Villa Escudero visit, we watched a cultural show, just right after the lunch, at 2pm. they showcase here some of the Philippine folk and traditional dances accompanied by a band playing traditional philippine musical instruments. the colorful costumes and graceful moves really put up a good show. i enjoyed this a lot. hope you’ll enjoy the sneak peeks below so start scrolling down. . 🙂
all in all. the trip is a memorable one; made me a prouder Filipino. . hihi. . Philipines has this unique culture that you may not be able to really appreciate by just reading books. Villa Escudero is a good place to bring kids of modern ages for them to appreciate their great grandparents’ way of living. . 🙂